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The use of polycrystalline silicon solar cells (156 times156 mm) as a groundplane for a proximity-coupled microstrip square patch antenna (30 times 30 mm) is investigated. Four different models that arise from the different possible positions of the cell with respect to patch, were simulated, fabricated and compared to an ideal PEC ground plane antenna of the same size. It was found that the use of the solar cell as ground plane is feasible, yielding similar impedance bandwidth (around 4%, 3.5% for the PEC) with reasonable gain. The feasibility of using poly-crystalline solar cells as a ground plane, instead of a PEC is examined for proximity coupled patch antennas.
Ons, M., Shynu, S., Ammann, M., McCormack, S., Norton, B.: Investigation on proximity-coupled microstrip integrated PV antenna. EuCAP 2007: The Second European Conference on Antennas and Propagation, Edinburgh, 11-16 November, 2007.